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was the protectoral creed, when these sons of ambition were sighing for 6 stars and garters, and titles of nobility”-it was in the golden days of the “order of the sun," when San Martin began to dream that he was already firmly seated on the throne of the Incas. But those day-dreams have vanished like the frost in the morning, and Monteagudo has written another political manual, under the dictatorship of Bolivar, which has been published since his death, and in which he exhibits bimself as a convert to our federal and representative system; and declares, that “the votaries of absolute power will at length be compelled to seek their salvation in that system.”
I present to you these different dicta of Monteagudo, who was justly considered as the most celebrated political writer-I do not mean as to the rectitude of his principles, but rather in respect to his talents and information--that the revolution has produced, as the contrast of the political creeds of the protectoral and dictatorial schools, and 'I believe I may add, of the political opinions now in vogue in Buenos Ayres and Columbia; for I suspect that it will be in the latter country, if any where, that liberty will first get a foothold, in the late Spanish possessions in America.
If the contemplated consolidation of all Spanish America, which I have mentioned, shall be effected, Bolivar will, of course, be at its head, either by the general choice, or because he is already at the head of the military power; and of his spirit there can be no doubt, even to make war upon the whole Holy Alliance; and he would not want for soldiers among 14,000,000 of people, whose military spirit swallows up every other--nor for funds, in this inveterate stock-jobbing age. Don Pedro, of the Brazils, would probably be the first object of attack; he is an old offender in his conquest and occupation of the Banda Oriental; and it has been currently rumoured here, that the Brazilians have advanced from their frontier province of Matogroso, into Chiquitos in Alto Peru, and that General Sucre, in command there, has despatched a force to repulse them. This rumour seems to be confirmed by the fact, that this government, having recently chartered ships to carry the Colombian troops, now in Alto Peru, to Panama, suddenly gave them up, and relinquished the design, on the receipt of some private intelligence. If it be true, hostilities may have already commenced, and to what or whom they will reach, it isimpossible to conjecture; perhaps to the throne even of Brazilitself. In the posthumous work of Monteagudo, last referred to, entitled 6 An Essay on the necessity of a general federation among the states of Spanish America, and a plan for its organization,”
which is considered here to have been composed at the suggestion of Bolivar, and to indicate his peculiar views upon the subject of which it treats, it is thus observed—“In considering the dangers which surround us, we ought not to regard, in quiet confidence, the new empire of Brazil. It may, with truth, be said, that the throne of Don Pedro the 1st, was reared upon the same ruins on which liberty has erected hers in the rest of America. It was necessary to make the same transition which we have made, from the colonial state to the rank of independent nations. But, with regret must we declare, that this sovereign has not shown that respect which he ought to those liberal institutions, whose spirit placed the sceptre in his hands;
for in them it should have been wielded as an instrument of liberty, but never of oppression. And thus it is, that in the tribunal of the Holy Alliance the proceeding of Don Pedro has been adjudged in a different mode from that of ours, and he has been absolved, notwithstanding the example which his conduct has left, that in the end he might not appear in bistory as only the chief of a conspiracy against the authority of his father.
“Every thing inclines us to believe, that the imperial cabinet of Rio de Janeiro will lend itself to the views of the Holy Alliance, against the republics of the new world, and that Brazil will become, perhaps, the head quarters of the servile party, as it is already of the secret agents of the Holy Alliance. Beside the public notices that such a desertion of the American cause is to be apprehended, there is manifested, in the relations of the government of Brazil with those of continental Europe, an emphatic character; the meaning of which it is impossible to discover, except in an existing analogy of principles and inte
These sentiments may be considered as official; and General Bolivar has been known, in private conversation, to declare, that “no throne shall exist in America." Place him then at the head of 14,000,000 of people, united together in a solemn league for any object, but especially for the defence of their country, their “lares et penates," their domestic altars, their gods, and themselves, against invading tyrants, and the issue of such a fearful struggle would hardly be left in doubt. One pricipal object of the congress at Panama is, “ to present a front,” as it is expressed in the essay before alluded to, “to the tremendous mass of power with which they are threatened by the Holy Alliance." “ England and the United States," it is said, “ will take their proper position in the universal contest;” and “in undertaking,” says Monteagudo, “in what
ever part of the globe, the subjugation of the Spanish American republics, he who shall direct the enterprise, will have to calculate, not only the maritime and naval forces of that section which he shall invade, but those of the entire mass of the confederates, to whom will probably be united Great Britain and the United States; he will have to calculate, not only that throng of interests, European and American, which he will be about to violate, in Peru, in Colombia, and in Mexico, but in all the northern and southern states of America, as far as the league of liberty shall extend; he will have to calculate, in short, the enthusiasm of an invaded people, the force of their passions, and the resources of their despair; besides the obstacles which the distance of two hemispheres interposes, the climate of our coasts, the rugged elevations of the Andes, and the deserts which interrupt in every direction the habitable superficies of our soil.” I do not know that I have done justice to the above extract in my translation, but it is written in a spirit which seems to be general in the country, and which is not slightly to be outraged by any combination of despots, whose thrones are poised upon the point of the bayonet.
Among other recent measures of General Bolivar, he has ordered a new congress to be assembled ; and the previous election of the electoral colleges," upon whom the subsequent election of the deputies devolves, has already taken place. The deputies are to be apportioned among the different provinces, according to population, and the number will amount to eighty. Every citizen, either native or naturalized, is compelled to vote, under the penalty of perpetual disqualification afterwards; and a rather singular article of the election law provides, that “no one shall vote for himself.” The majority, as in former congresses, will probably be the clergy, as the most influential, most intelligent, and best educated, if not the most virtuous part of the community. Amid all the shocks of the revolution, the power and influence of the holy clergy have not been touched. They have emerged from out the fiery furnace of this horrid war, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, without the smell of fire in their garments. It is true, that the old Spanish prelates either fled, or were banished from the country, in the early part of the revolution ; but this only gave room for the promotion of the native clergy of Peru, once called its staple product. The archbishop of Lima, however, was invited, by a formal decree of a former congress, to return from Rio de Janeiro, whither he had been banished, and $10,000 voted to defray his expenses—but he unfortunately died before receiving this liberal invitation. I will not VOL. II.
detain you by detailing individual instances of the moral pollution of the clergy, but leave you to ipfer it from the fact, that the only religion of the country has degenerated into a gross superstition, and is entirely unconnected with either morals or virtue.
In the preamble to the present constitution, it is declared, " that there can be no state, where there is no established religion ;” and, accordingly, the “Holy Roman Catholic religion” is declared to be not only “the established religion of the state," but “to the exclusion of every other.” The late sovereign congress, about one third of whom afterwards joined the Spaniards, (24 members,) and are now the victims of their folly and treason, in Callao, debated three days, whether the act of their installation should commence with the words— “In the name of Almighty God,” or “of the Most Holy Trinity;" and at a time, too, when the permanent head quarters of the Spanish army were within 45 leagues of the capital. The Spanish generals boasted, that from some of the members of the congress they received official duplicates of even the muster rolls of the two Patriot expeditions of Generals Alvarado and Santa Cruz, which were sent to the Intermedios. It is to be hoped that the new congress will be composed of wiser and better men.
In addition to these unfavourable circumstances for the enjoyment of either civil or religious liberty, to wit, that the present government is, in form, a sheer military despotism, headed by a successful military chieftain, under the appalling title of dictalor, and that the Roman Catholic religion is declared to be the exclusive religion of the state ; I have to add, that there is at present no “liberty of the press.” The two papers published here, are both under the immediate control of the government, and the principal one is owned by it, and is called the “ Government Gazette.” It contains little else besides the bandos, or public edicts, and scraps of foreign news, generally relating to the affairs of Spain. Nothing is published relative to political measures, and nothing is known concerning them, until they appear in the aforesaid bandos, which are read in the streets, at the head of a party of soldiers, and are asterwards posted up about the city. In this way are the laws for the whole of Peru promulgated; they have never been collected into a volume, are never reprinted, and are only to be found scattered through the gazettes, and more resemble the general orders of a commander in chief to his army, than the laws of a peaceful community, or indeed of any political association. They are frequently forgotten both by lawgivers and the peo
ple, and are sometimes contradictory and inconsistent with each other.
If, then, the present government of Peru is, in form, a military despotism, without freedom of conscience or of the press, where, it may be asked, are we to look for Peruvian liberty? The answer is a short one: in the will of the dictator, or in the womb of time. The fact is, that these countries have made but one step in the career on which they started, and that is, to independence of Spanish domination. This is an immense acquisition—the star of hope, at least, now beams brightly upon them; and when the present military spirit, engendered during a conflict of fourteen years, and which pervades the whole mass of South American society, shall have given way to that of peaceful industry, to agriculture, commerce, the exploration of mines, and to manufactures; when the civil arts of life shall succeed to the din of arms, and the present rulers of the states, who have been elevated to their situations by the accidents of war, by a reputation gained on the field of battle by courage or by chance, shall be succeeded by men, bred in the peaceful walks of life, men of talents, of education, and of unspotted integrity; in short, when the present generation shall have passed away, and been succeeded by the next, and the hereditary vices of the Spaniards eradicated from the soil which they have polluted so long, then, and not till then, may we look for Peruvian liberty.
(To be continued.)
THE NEW MOON.
When, as the gairish day is done,
'Tis passing sweet to mark,
As earth and sky grow dark.
Few are the hearts too cold to feel
When first the wandering eye
Just planted in the sky.